US Energy giant ExxonMobil announced on Wednesday it will carry out two exploratory drillings in block 10 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the second half of 2018.
ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum (QP) acquired an exploration concession for block 10 as part of the third licensing round in April 2017.
Tristan Aspray, ExxonMobil Exploration Vice President for Europe, Russia and the Caspian Sea, told a presentation today in Nicosia that the company’s future steps in Cyprus will depend on the exploration results and did not rule out the possibility of Exxon participating in the construction of an LNG plant in Cyprus.
Aspray said the company is currently examining the 3D seismic data and the geophysical data examination is expected to conclude by the end of the year.
ExxonMobil’s VP said drilling rigs contracts and shaft design are underway, adding that the company will proceed to launch the relevant tenders within the coming weeks.
He also said that ExxonMobil local staff has been assigned to offshore exploration programme, noting that there will be additional staff, including Cypriots, as the company is working with the government to develop local skills through internships, scholarships and support for equipment purchases.
Noting the significant gas finds in the region, especially following the discovery of Zhor, Aspray said there is significant exploration potential. “However, as we say geology can change rapidly over short distances, so there still remains an important uncertainty, we really only know the potential of these blocks once we drill our exploration wells,” he explained.
Furthermore, Aspray said ExxonMobil aims to generate income from the project, stimulate the Cypriot economy, create jobs, develop skills, safeguard Cyprus’ energy security and generate profits from natural gas exports.